The Supreme Court on Friday directed that national parks and wildlife sanctuaries must have an Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) of a minimum of one km from the demarcated boundary of a protected forest.

A bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao, Justice B R Gavai and Justice A S Bopanna said mining within the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries shall not be permitted.

No permanent structure will be allowed within the ESZ, it added.

The top court also directed the Chief Conservator of Forests of all states and UTs to prepare a list of existing structures within the ESZs and submit a report to it within a period of three months."For this purpose, such authorities can take assistance from governmental agencies for satellite imaging or photography using drones," the bench said.

The direction came on a pending PIL, titled as T N Godavarman versus UOI, about issues including forest preservation.

With PTI Inputs